Attacks on MPs: Berlin threatens Russia after cyber attacks

Attacks on MPs
Berlin threatens Russia after cyber attacks

Security experts have long feared that Russia could influence the federal elections. According to the Foreign Office, there should have been targeted cyber attacks by the military intelligence service. The German government is threatening Moscow with consequences.

The German government has strongly protested against attempts by Russia to influence the Bundestag elections. A spokeswoman for the Federal Foreign Office called for the cyber campaigns to be stopped immediately and threatened the Russian government with consequences if it did not comply. “The Federal Government regards this unacceptable approach as a threat to the security of the Federal Republic of Germany and to the democratic decision-making process and a heavy burden on bilateral relations,” she said.

According to the Foreign Office spokeswoman, the federal government has “reliable findings” according to which the disinformation campaign “can be attributed to cyber actors of the Russian state and specifically to the GRU military intelligence service”. This approach is “completely unacceptable”, the federal government reserves the right to take “further measures”.

In the run-up to the federal elections, attempts were made “among other things with phishing emails” to obtain personal login data, in particular from members of the Bundestag and Landtag, “in order to be able to commit identity theft,” said the foreign office spokeswoman. “These attacks can serve as preparatory measures for influence operations such as disinformation campaigns in the federal election.” Behind the attacks is a “cyber actor” called “ghostwriter”, behind whom the Russian military intelligence is, said the spokeswoman.

“The German government urges the Russian government to stop these illegal cyber activities with immediate effect.” You have already “made this request” directly to Russian officials, said the spokeswoman – most recently at the meeting of the German-Russian high working group on security policy last week. The spokeswoman did not want to comment on the reaction of the Russian side.